In a move to pay the way for better governance in the urban areas of Kerala, Centre has decided to launch an Urban Observatory in the state. The observatory will help to improve governance in urban areas by analysing digital data. 

As part of the project, a unit for mapping and interpreting the data related to digital activities taking place in urban areas will be set up. This will help authorities get a clear picture of digital activities taking place in the area, and they could increase the quality of administrative services accordingly. 

"Kerala is undergoing urbanisation at a fast pace. The observatory will envisage the whole state as a single unit," National Institute of Urban Affairs director Jagan Shan said. 

Observatories are also being established in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam and Chandigarh. The observatories will be set up in collaboration with the UK. Such observatories are functioning in cities like New York, London, Chicago, Seoul and Vancouver. 

The fast changing trends in urban life will constantly be observed and studied. The authorities will implement governance to suit the changing needs of people, Indo-UK collaboration principal investigator Ajith Kaliyath said. 

With such observatories, urban planning can be made more scientific. The data collected at observatories will help to get a clear picture of the current status of basic facilities, and what kind of development is necessary for urban areas, state planning board member Raviraman said.